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Nick Bosa: The defense needs to play with their hair on fire like last year

Bosa spoke about the importance of the team’s effort

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A lot went right for the 49ers against the Cowboys in last year’s playoffs. During yesterday’s media session, Nick Bosa said there’s one thing specifically that he wants to see carry over from 2021.

Effort.

“One thing that we watched was how great our effort was in that game. That’s something that we need to continue to do because that’s what takes teams into the playoffs. Stopping the run and playing with your hair on fire. So we need to be like that.

You watch Arden Key with the Jags and he’s got those boys really playing with that effort and it kinda shows. You see [DeForest Buckner] and the Colts. Guys that come from here kind of bring that with them, and we need to make sure that we uphold that standard.”

This is yet another example of how Bosa has grown into more of a vocal leader this year. In previous seasons, he never would have said this type of thing publicly. In year four, he’s obviously feeling more comfortable as a guy people look to on the team. Part of what keeps great teams great is players holding each other accountable, and the way to do that is by having your best players set the standard in the locker room. Obviously, Nick adopted the standard previously set by Buckner and Key, and he’s looking to uphold it this week.

Kyle Shanahan mentioned a similar theme in his media session yesterday.

“Sometimes human nature, when you’ve won so many games in a row, people stop looking at how to get better. They think they’ve arrived and you need to show them on the tape and you need to speak it because players aren’t always seeing it that way. They watch their assignment, what they’re doing, but they don’t always see the big picture.

It’s our job to show them that what they need to do to carry out their job at the highest level. And I want every single person to play to the top of their ability and nobody’s perfect, so I’m always striving to get guys to play better.”

Winning 11 straight games in a row is incredibly difficult in the NFL. In the past 25 years, there have only been eight other teams to go into the playoffs on a double-digit winning streak. Six of those eight other teams failed to make the Super Bowl. Only one of those teams actually won the Super Bowl (‘03 Patriots).

If the 49ers are going to be the second, they’re going to have to step up the intensity this week.

Hear more about this and other stories in today’s 49ers in Five podcast. Our five minute daily update gives you the latest news, best audio clips, and everything else you need to know about the team. Subscribe to the Niners Nation Podcast Network today so you don’t miss an episode!